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PSYC 332 Lecture Notes - Sexual Selection, Physical Attractiveness, Reproductive Health

Course Code
PSYC 332
Richard Koestner

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Intro to Personality
Lecture 7: Friday January 21, 2011
Evolution, Mate Preferences and My 8th Grade Year Book
Questions of the day:
How has evolution influenced the mating preferences and behaviour of human
males and females?
oSexual selection – describes evolution of characteristics that allow
individuals to gain an advantage over same sexual members of species
Example from 8th grade
After 8th grade he went to an all boys high school and university
Last time he was in a co-ed context
He was very aware that the boys and girls were very interested in each other
For yearbook tried to come up with interesting things (rate people as whose the
most attractive, best athlete etc) not a great idea, but most people were
interested in their rank relative to others
It was very clear that the most attractive girl was Darlene
Jimmy Kelly – was the boy who all the girls were interested in
And these 2 were a pair
Prof was voted strongest, best athlete, and smartest
There was also a section called the never never occupation, find something about
you and pick something that you could never do (a small dainty girls never never
occupation would be a truck driver)
For prof they came up with Playboy – he wanst coming across as sauve etc
My options?
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thought other ways girls could be interested in him is like be like woody allen bc he is
he was wrestling with what this feedback meant
The Evolution of Human Intrasexual Competition: Tactics of Mate Attraction,
David Buss 1988
Intrasexual selection – competition between members of the same sex for mating
access to members of the opposite sex.
oIn most species this competition would involve…
Characteristics selected could be those that enable winning in direct combat, such
as size and strength,
oE.g. with baboons, bigger/stronger baboons and loudest grunt would pair
off with other males and have direct combats and compete to see who is
the most strong
oTraits will be passed on from generation to generation, bc those will be
more successful in having offspring
Or noncombat traits, such as producing successful mate-attracting signals or
acquiring resources desired by the opposite sex.
Images and Reality
Humans – nondirect competition that is most important
The way males compete against other males…
“The essence of competition is not direct confrontation. It consists instead of
behaviors designed to acquire limited or better resources at the expense of others
who are attempting to acquire those resources. Competitors need not ever meet to
engage in intrasexual competition.
oFor males if you acquire more territory, status – these are likely to make
you more desirable for opposite sex
oDoesn’t necessarily involve direct confrontation with other males
The 4 components of intrasexual competition for humans:
1) Skill at locating mates;
ovisiting habitats that are frequented by opposite sex
owhere you could go to met girls in college (happened on weekend in
fraternity parties)
2) Producing effective mate-attracting behaviors;
oEven for females the examples he gives is showing that youre available
and that you might be interested and having a way of communicating that
oAnd communicating you might be desirable and that your hard to get
3) Acquiring resources desired by the opposite sex
oin animal kingdom – territory, status
ohumans – certain resrouces that might convey you will be a good provider
(historically, females tend to look more for partners who are older,
wealthier, good careers, good ambition, likely to find good careers)
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